Chief Sponsor: Brad M. Daw

Senate Sponsor: Evan J. Vickers


11     Committee Note:
12          The Health and Human Services Interim Committee recommended this bill.
13     General Description:
14          This concurrent resolution highlights the devastating impact of the opioid epidemic and
15     urges the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to approve a pilot program
16     for pharmaceutical drop boxes.
17     Highlighted Provisions:
18          This resolution:
19          ▸     highlights the impact of the opioid epidemic on the state of Utah;
20          ▸     describes previous actions to place law enforcement-controlled pharmaceutical drop
21     boxes in local pharmacies; and
22          ▸     urges the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to approve a pilot
23     program for pharmaceutical drop boxes that are controlled by local law enforcement
24     agencies.
25     Special Clauses:
26          None

28     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
29          WHEREAS, the state of Utah is committed to fostering a safe and drug-free
30     environment for all of its citizens;
31          WHEREAS, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration designated the state
32     of Utah as an official DEA 360 strategy area in the fall of 2017 to combat opioid addiction and
33     overdose deaths in the state;
34          WHEREAS, Utah ranks 4th highest in the nation for drug overdose deaths, with 23
35     individuals dying each month from a prescription opioid overdose in 2016;
36          WHEREAS, from 2000 to 2015, Utah experienced a nearly 400% increase in deaths
37     from the misuse and abuse of opioids, and the problem is continuing to grow;
38          WHEREAS, most individuals who misuse prescription drugs have access to the drugs
39     from a friend or relative, not a local drug dealer;
40          WHEREAS, Utah currently has over 150 drop boxes based in local law enforcement
41     offices around the state;
42          WHEREAS, Utahns have advised members of the newly formed Attorney General's
43     Opioid Task Force that people would be more likely to drop off unused pharmaceutical drugs
44     in a drop box if the boxes are placed in local pharmacies;
45          WHEREAS, even though drop boxes are allowed in pharmacies, Utah pharmacists have
46     repeatedly informed the Opioid Task Force that federal regulations governing the placement
47     and maintenance of drop boxes are too onerous;
48          WHEREAS, Utah is a geographically large state with a substantial portion of the
49     population living in rural areas, and some citizens must drive over 20 miles to place their
50     unused drugs in a designated drop box;
51          WHEREAS, in a letter sent to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration on
52     May 31, 2017, the Utah Attorney General requested a waiver from existing regulations to
53     operate a one-year pilot program that would allow law enforcement agencies to place and
54     operate pharmaceutical drop boxes in local pharmacies;
55          WHEREAS, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration's response dated
56     September 6, 2017, to the Utah Attorney General's request merely reiterated existing
57     regulations and failed to address the pilot program;
58          WHEREAS, all of the pharmaceutical drop boxes in the pilot program would be

59     completely owned and operated by a local law enforcement entity, and all boxes would be
60     installed in conjunction with in-store security camera and facility alarm systems;
61          WHEREAS, local law enforcement officers would be solely responsible for emptying
62     and securing the disposed drugs until the drugs could be properly destroyed;
63          WHEREAS, drugs placed in the secure drop boxes would be considered abandoned
64     property and would be destroyed in accordance with applicable state and federal law;
65          WHEREAS, drop boxes in the pilot program would not be placed in pharmacies that
66     are already registered as Collectors with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration;
67     and
68          WHEREAS, the pilot program would allow the Opioid Task Force to evaluate whether
69     a significant increase in the number of take-back locations could reduce rates of prescription
70     drug misuse, overdose, and death:
71          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
72     Governor concurring therein, requests that the United States Drug Enforcement Administration
73     respond to the Utah Attorney General's request for a pilot program to allow local law
74     enforcement agencies to place and operate pharmaceutical drop boxes in local pharmacies.
75          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and the Governor join the Utah
76     Attorney General to call on the United States Drug Enforcement Administration to act quickly
77     to support the state of Utah in its efforts to address the opioid epidemic by approving the
78     pharmaceutical drop box pilot program.
79          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be delivered to the United
80     States Attorney General, the United States Attorney for the District of Utah, and the
81     Administrator of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration.